Years ago, when I was cutting my teeth on WordPress, a client of mine (The Nature Conservancy of Central and Western NY) hired me to create a new website for an ongoing invasive species project.
The result was fine and the site editor still loves it, though it makes me cringe by today’s design standards. WordPress has evolved so much in the last decade, and a great benefit is that what used to be hard is now easier than ever. Design themes have improved so much that sites can easily appear dynamic and multi-dimensional.
Just like the New York Nature Conservancy has many state chapters, this NY invasive species group has many regional offices. So it was very cool when one of the other offices called me to ask for a quote to build the same kind of site. It’s like having a do-over without going back to the original client!
We started this site in September and handed it to the client on December 16th. They are still in the process of adding content, but most of it is done. To keep the project in the client’s budget range, we used an off-the-shelf theme and made minor customizations, such as a soft nature background, font changes, and hyperlink colors, plus customized a few widgets for the home page.
We also created specialty pages (custom post types) for each invasive species, and made hotlinks to each species group as a secondary menu.
We added a calendar (time.ly) so they can advertise workshops, trainings, etc.
I like how today’s footers have become important navigational elements, and how studies show that the footer, if done well, can be an important navigational tool. On this one, we placed important messaging, a call to action, and contextualized the organization under the New York umbrella.
It was great fun working with the client, as they were on the ball, fast with feedback, and had great attention to detail. That helped the project proceed quickly.
Now, my fondest wish is to build a new website for the other five invasive species groups, using the same theme with different design and content to again, provide a measure of statewide unity across the invasive species groups. Time will tell whether that wish comes true. : )
Thanks to Sam Hotchkiss Consulting and Katherine Koch for their development assistance with this project.